A kid-friendly vacation to New Zealand is full of adventure. This island nation is known for sports, extreme wilderness, amazing hiking, friendly residents and most recently, as the backdrop for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The more populous North Island is home to the nation’s capital, Auckland, which offers some of the best museums and activities for families and easy day trips to rainforests and wildlife preserves. On the rugged South Island, laid-back Christchurch is a good base for exploring the surrounding lakes and mountains, ideal for bungee jumping, jet boating, kayaking and rafting. New Zealand’s kid-friendly hotels come in all sizes and budgets on the North Island; accommodations are decidedly more casual on the South Island, dominated by smaller motels and lodges.

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